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When Ambassador Girl Scout Alexandria Bassett set out on her mission to help the students of the Cow Field School in Liberia support their community, she chose give them an opportunity to learn how to make a product they could sell. In the true spirit of friendship, she thought Friendship Bracelets would be the perfect theme.
Each of the 250 students at the school received a button kit that included a bracelet that Alexandria made as a sample, skeins of DMC Embroidery Floss donated by Iris Whitted on behalf of DMC USA, and hundreds of buttons and instructions for re-creating the bracelet. Her shipment of supplies weighed 110 pounds and contained over 126,000 buttons and over 1,250 skeins of embroidery floss.
The students are taught to make a marketable product that they can sell to earn money to support their families, education, and local school. The finished bracelets will be sold at the local market.
According to the Girls Scouts site, the “Girl Scout Gold Award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. Open only to girls in high school, this prestigious award challenges you to change the world.”
This seven-step project involves identifying an issue, researching the issue thoroughly, building a team, creating and presenting a plan, gathering feedback and then putting the plan into action to inspire and educate. In supplying these kits and showing these schoolchildren how to make the bracelets, Alexandria is not only providing a way for the children to support their community, but is also teaching them lifelong skills that they will be able to use throughout their life.
On behalf of DMC, I’d like to extend a huge, “WELL DONE” to Alexandria!
This week I came across an extraordinary site, created by multimedia needle artist Janet Browne of the UK.
She has developed an unusual style of mapping the places she visits, working from a diary filled with observations and sketches, which she transforms into places, towns and landscapes worked in fabric and thread. Essentially, she creates a journal in fabric, needle and thread.
The image to the left is part of her Tour de France series, and features Day 1 of her journey. The image to the right shows an allotment with a garden gate.
Click the image to visit her web site, then select the image to see the details in a larger format. Visit the main page of her site to see a full list of the subjects she works with.
Janet selects cotton calico and silks to create her maps, often over-dying them to achieve the colors she remembers in her mind’s eye of the places, objects, animals and other things she saw during the journey she’s memorializing in needlework. Once the artist has the design perfected and pieced, she then works hand embroidery and machine embroidery to create the details.
I’ve featured a few of her designs here – click on the image to visit the page to see the designs covering each subject.
The DMC Memories Contest winners are getting packed and ready for their trip to France, including a tour of the DMC Factory and a visit to Paris. I know there are many of us who would love to tuck ourselves in their suitcases and tag along on this awesome adventure!
Contest winners, Allison Aller and Louise Doney, are each bringing along a companion – and will probably have a stitching project tucked in their carry-on bag for the long flight to Paris. We hope they have a wonderful trip and can hardly wait to hear about their trip.
To help send them off, I’m posting their winning entries – in case you have not yet seen them – and will also be posting other entries we received for the contest over the next few weeks. There were so many interesting and wonderful Memories that it was certainly a difficult choice.
Meanwhile, enjoy the winning entries…
Allison Aller’s Entry:
I sit on the couch awkwardly holding a hoop taut with cloth, and carefully pull the needle through. I am five years old, and Granny Mary is teaching me the running stitch…
Across the years and through my soul that stitch ran on… once through a sampler as I grieved my way through 10th grade, soaking up my wild grief at losing my mom. I calmed myself by embroidering intricate counted diagrams after school, learning early on what a balm for the soul stitching is. Then those colored threads danced their way through my jeans as I decorated Hippie Dreams in college; they skipped along borders of baby bumpers, and formed playful designs on quilts for my kids. Clowns, choochoo trains in bold colors – all that stitching made me heal and smile.
But then my threads sought the deeper, undiscovered patterns of the artist. I followed them through the years of solo work in my studio, exploring beauty, pushing boundaries, practicing the discipline of my needle: I’m a musician enthralled with my instrument. The colored melodies run through my fingers, singing with my stitching!
I’mll always thrill to holding new DMC threads in my hands, certain that their running stitchies will lead me peacefully through troubles, gratefully into circles of love, and beyond, into the music of the shperes.
And now… my niece Qwen sits beside me, awkwardly holding a hoop taut with cloth, pulling the threaded needle through. She is five years old… (© DMC – All Rights Reserved)
Louise Doney’s Entry:
Our parent’s 50th wedding anniversary was two years away, but Daddy was already reminding us seven children of the big celebration there was going to be. I realized we needed to do something special and soon came up with the idea of constructing a “Memory Quilt” with counted cross stitch squares depicting their life together. Most of the women in the family could stitch so the idea was generally accepted. Many planning sessions followed to decide which family highlights would be included. The storyline started with a poem to our parents and included the church they were married in, the home we were raised in, the family tree, events such as picnics, Christmas, Pinochle cards , and travel experiences . All in all twenty 10×10 squares of Aida stitched with DMC floss were included, with the last square depicting a woman stitching and the names of us women and our relationship to our parents . At the “Big Party” we unveiled a hand quilted queen size quilt which of course was a huge surprise to our parents and more than half the room was in tears. The quilt was featured in the local newspaper and has won people’s choice awards in needlework shows.
My parents are gone now and I am the lucky keeper of this treasure and I know that the colors of the DMC used will stay bright for future generations to enjoy, along with other projects I continue to stitch with my #1 thread choice DMC!
(© DMC – All Rights Reserved)
Happy Stitching everyone, and join me in wishing Allison and Louise a bon voyage!
Meredith‘s beautiful DMC color block project is right up my alley – as you know, I love our color cards, but when I want to reach for just the right shade – how nice would it be to have a little stitched example of every color on hand? That is exactly what Meredith did – cross-stitching tiny 6-square blocks of every shade of DMC cotton embroidery floss, in numerical order, on Aida cloth. I love the quilt-like effect on this!
To make her DMC color project a perfect square, she explains in her project post that she left out a few shades close in color value to ones she already stitched. Still pretty amazing, huh? Meredith is no stranger to color and stitching – in her Etsy shop, she sells original patterns that update gorgeous sampler-style motifs with snarky quotes, movie lines, and pop-culture TV references.
Sheesh, Meredith! That’s some seriously gorgeous cross-stitching!
I’d love to try my hand at a DMC color block project of my own – I think I’d start with a nice neutral, textured surface like our Charles Craft Fiddler’s Cloth or 14 ct Carolina Linen, and okay, maybe I don’t have time to stitch every color, but I could create a small piece devoted to my favorite colors…
Have any of you done a color project that includes every DMC shade? If so, I would really, really love to see it!
Back in June we held a contest in conjunction with A.C. Moore stores, with stitchers telling is why they love to stitch. We had some terrific entries, and chosing a winner was difficult.
Our winner was Di T, with her variation of a familiar needlework saying – and one we can all relate to. Di has shared the pattern with us, and I know a lot of us will be stitching this design!
We’ve had a chance to chat with Di and ask her more about her love of stitching.
She also stitches for a cat rescue group and is a member of stitching groups in USA and Europe. She often participates in Round Robbins or exchanging projects between members, and offers advice to new people who are interested to learn how to stitch.
While designing her project, Di found many pleasant moments, starting from choosing a design, threads and fabric, the process of stitching it, and then choosing a frame and place in her home for the completed project.
Di’s #1 choice of embroidery thread is DMC Embroidery Floss, because when you spend so many hours completeing the project, you make sure to use the best quality available!
She’s also been making full use of her basket of DMC goodies, and has sent us a photo of her well-organized stash! Di finds this organizer very helpful when choosing or changing colors – and it keeps the floss clean and tangle-free.
We currently have another contest in progress with a terrific prize, and I’m looking forward to seeing your entries!
Needlework is truly a universal tie that binds stitchers together – and DMC has been providing quality materials and patterns to stitchers around the world for centuries.
Recently I was sent this letter from Betsy, a reader in Florida who came across a vintage DMC embroidery leaflet in Italian.
She sent us the leaflet, because she wanted to send it “home” to DMC.
The booklet features satin stitched and surface stitched designs worked in DMC Embroidery Threads.
This was such a nice gesture, and we love sharing these old patterns and booklets with all of you.
I’ve posted the pages here so everyone can enjoy it! If you click on the photos, it’ll bring up a larger image so you can see the incredible workmanship!
…And if I get to Florida, I will definitely be happy to occupy the second beach chair!